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Why Global Financial Intelligence Unit Pitch Tent With Nigerian Industry Watchdog



Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has said it is set to sign Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Financial Infractions Detection in the country as the global arm described the apex industry watchdog as the flagship of integrity in public service.

Modibbo HammanTukur, the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) made this declaration recently when he paid a courtesy call on the Management of NCC at the Commission’s head office in Abuja.

HamanTukur, who led a delegation of a broad spectrum of management staff of NFIU to NCC, said even when NCC had to impose sanction, it did so with the most conscientiousness of honor, “with its integrity intact”, and it is on record that NCC has imposed the highest level of financial sanction than any regulatory authority in Nigeria.

The NFIU is the Nigerian arm of the global financial intelligence units and its overarching objectives is to ensure that Nigeria complies with international standards on combating money laundry, and financing of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Accordingly, the NFIU CEO explained that the visit to NCC is to explore greater areas of collaboration, institute the process leading to signing of Memorandum of Understanding and to open a new vista of relationship for the benefit of Nigeria.

Illustrating the basis for greater collaboration with NCC, HammanTukur noted that as a communication and financial fraud analyst, the NFIU “analysis is incomplete without telephone data and we have seen a number of crimes committed with non-registered SIM cards. Though we have special detection tools for transactions involving unregistered SIM cards, we seek special collaboration with NCC because of the great works NCC is doing in this regard as a competent authority and key ally in the detection of financial infractions”. He added that the need for greater collaboration is underscored by the plan to introduce a common currency in West Africa and other emergent financial phenomena like Cryptocurrency.

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In his response, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta promptly announced the composition of NCC membership of the technical committee that will work with NFIU to achieve a better working relationship. He said NCC recognizes its role as the infrastructure of other infrastructure and sectors of the economy and that explains its commitment to the expansion of infrastructure because

“each time an additional service debuts to ride on existing infrastructure it tends to degrade the quality of service. Therefore, we need infrastructure upgrade to handle the issue of common currency and to handle the issue of common currency and other issues of digital transformation ”. Prof. Danbatta put the above in perspective when he informed the NFIU Chief Executive that a 10gigabyte per second point of access capacity in each of the 774 local government areas will be a great start to guarantee a good Internet speed.

Danbatta concluded that NCC is committed to doing everything necessary to uplift Nigeria and enlist the country as a central player in the ongoing digital transformation of the global economy. However, he insisted that players in the Nigerian telecom ecosystem must stick to the rules of engagement. “SIM registration is irrevocable and non-negotiable. We are about to undertake another audit process to ensure there is compliance by all stakeholders” he emphasized.

Giving the vote of thanks, NCC Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, thanked NFIU for the visit and plan for increased collaboration with the Commission. He stated that as a flagship public sector regulatory organization, NCC is always gratified to find that what it does continue to spur the birth of new vision in other sectors, and also enhancing the growth of the economy.

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